In Focus: Megatrends  

ESG-conscious companies worth 50% more, Schroders finds

This was less pronounced in other sectors, it said.

 

What's more, the market hasn’t really priced in the differing social risks that companies are running, said Lamont.

"Investors are essentially saying that it doesn’t matter to a company’s prospects whether it treats its employees well or if it sells products which cause ill-health (and the financial consequences of such ill-health). Maybe they’re right, but I suspect not.

"These social impacts matter to a company’s sustainable growth rate in the long run. And, if I’m right, then we should see investors start to differentiate more on these grounds in future."

He added: "What is really interesting is that it is only in the past few years that the market has started to pay more attention to environmental risks.

"Before 2017-18 or thereabouts, it didn’t matter as much to investors (at least in aggregate) whether a company was damaging the environment or not. Valuations on good and bad companies were more tightly bunched.

"But there is also evidence that, for many other companies and sectors, the market hasn’t yet held their feet to the fire. Which means there is scope for returns to be earned by researching and identifying the leaders and laggards."

carmen.reichman@ft.com